Planning a trip to the U.S. from South Korea can be quite exciting. You are about to experience the world from a new point of view, and you stand to gain a vast amount of knowledge about other cultures when you enter the culturally diverse United States. While you begin the planning process, you should be thinking about the logistics of your entry into the United States. You should also expect to encounter cultural differences, so it’s best to do some research before you leave. Preparing for your trip, for whatever reason, is a process that can be confusing, so understanding how to go about applying for a visa is important.
Your reason for coming to the United States will play a role in your application process. More specifically, the visitor visa you must apply for will depend on your business in the U.S. There are a number of visitor visas which you may qualify for. When you begin the application process, start out by finding the exact visa you will need in order to go to the United States. South Korea is a part of the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without the need of a visa. Not everyone can be accepted into the waiver system, so anticipate the longer process of obtaining a visa. This process can be different for some visitors depending on where they are coming from. Here is a general guide to the visa application process. Be sure to do more research to find any specific things that may differ for those coming to the United States from South Korea.
The first thing you need to do before you start filling out visa application paperwork is to figure out the exact visa you should be applying for. Depending on the length of your stay and the purpose of your visit, you will have a specific type of visa that you must obtain.
U.S. Visitor Visas have many categories and subcategories. Make sure you find the one that is most accurate for your situation.
Once you know which specific visa you need to apply for, you may begin to apply. These preparation steps are essential before your start the application form:
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application Form (DS-160). This is the main application form for the visa process. Complete the entire form as much as you can. Be sure your answers are correct and accurate. Make sure to remember your answers for your interview with a consulate officer.
Once you have completed the application form, you must schedule a visa interview appointment. This interview will be held at a nearby U.S. Embassy or Consular’s Office. The person interviewing you will be an American Consular Officer who will be assisted by a translator, if necessary. It is very important that you arrive at the interview on the date and time that it was scheduled. Failure to show up on time may result in a denial of your visa application. The Consular Officer will ask questions about your planned visit to the United States and will go over your DS-160 form.
Part of experiencing foreign cultures around you is by eating that culture’s foods. Because the United States is home to people from around the world, the nation’s food culture is diverse, full of an incredible array of foods. Depending on where you travel in the U.S., certain foods and dishes are more popular or are considered specialties. If you aren’t sure what to order at a restaurant, ask your server what they recommend. In the meantime, you can use this guide to learn about the food specialties in the different regions across the country.
The South is famous for its home-style country cooking. Barbecue, a method of cooking meats over open fires and smoke, is a big tradition for the South. In fact, there are many kinds of barbecue traditions, depending on where you travel. You can create an itinerary of southern cities to taste the different styles of barbecue. Other traditional Southern dishes focus on meat: fried chicken, ribs, and sausages. Fish and seafood are popular along the Gulf Coast. New Orleans cuisine combines influences from French, African, Caribbean, and Native American traditions, which makes it completely unique. When you order a Southern meal, there are certain side dishes that are typical: collard greens; potatoes that are either baked, mashed, or fried; peas; corn bread; baked beans; black-eyed peas; pinto beans; and red beans.
The Midwest is a region originally settled by primarily German and Swedish immigrants that managed farms, so the region’s traditional foods are hearty and filling, which means a lot of meats and starches. Another big food in the Midwest is cheese. The state of Wisconsin is especially notable for their cheese, but the entire region holds many kinds of cheese. You can also find various items that are typical throughout the region, such as casseroles, breads, beef dishes, pork dishes, and fresh produce, especially corn.
The West has a variety of cuisines, ranging from Mexican influences in the southern region to fresh, whole foods in the Northwest. California’s warm climate offers a long growing season for produce, so fruits and vegetables are often readily available. Along the coast, you will find seafood to be a big staple of cuisine, particularly salmon. Closer inland, you will find more red meat and chicken produced by local farms and ranches.
The Northeast is much like the Pacific Northwest: seafood is a big part of many dishes, especially in New England. Lobster, clams, oysters, scallops, and chowders made with these ingredients are popular. New York is known for its pizza and international offerings, and Philadelphia is home to the famous cheesesteak. Diners are a big feature of the New Jersey landscape; these restaurants are casual and offer sandwiches, soups, and larger entrees, typically for low to reasonable prices.
No matter the area in the United States, you can always find foreign foods. As a culturally blended country, you can find foods from almost anywhere in the world. If you find that you start missing flavors from home, you can find restaurants all over the country that serve meals similar to what you may experience in South Korea.
Of course, there are traditional foods for the entire United States. While the regions may have their own styles and tendencies, you can always find some of the most typical American foods anywhere in the U.S. These foods are maybe what you think of when you think about the United States cuisine: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, deli sandwiches, fried foods, and pizza. Of course, each region has its own variations on these traditional foods.
Traveling to the United States can be a big culture shock, but it can also be a very exciting time. Before you leave, make sure to obtain your visa by following the steps outlined above, and do purchase visa insurance to protect yourself during your trip. After you’ve gotten your documents and insurance in order, do research into the culture you’ll enter and the foods you’ll eat. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll be prepared to embrace and explore everything around you.
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